“For extraordinary contributions to indigent defense training programs in North Carolina,” The 2023 recipient of the Professor John Rubin Award is Federal Public Defender Joseph L. Ross II.
At the October meeting of the Commission on Indigent Defense Services, Professor Phil Dixon from the University of North Carolina School of Government presented the award to Ross on behalf of Professor John Rubin, who was away at a conference.
Ross is the Senior Litigator in the Federal Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He tries more cases than nearly any federal defender attorney in the system. He has led multiple numbers of training courses for the University of North Carolina School of Government, the Federal Defender Services Office, his office, and other organizations around the country. Topics include Trial Skills Training, Sentencing Advocacy Training, Defending Gun Cases, and others.
Ross has been teaching at the UNC-SOG Trial School for almost two decades. He kicks off the program with a pragmatic and motivational lecture on the importance of identifying different ways to approach the facts of each case. His session at Trial School is an invaluable contribution to the School’s flagship skills-training program.
Nominees for the John Rubin award, affectionately known as the “Ruby,” are typically individuals who have made extensive and outstanding contributions to training public defenders over a sustained period. This award recognizes volunteers who have helped to shape a generation of attorneys working in public defense, and it is bestowed upon a gifted and experienced trainer each year, in the spirit of Professor John Rubin’s considerable influence and work on the training and development of the indigent defense bar in North Carolina.